Written on: 16/07/2010 by jldevo (1 review written)
What a nightmare! For the last 4 weeks, my wife and I have been looking to buy a new kitchen. We went to all the big named companies offering many different prices for similar styles etc. In the end I decided to give a local small kitchen company a go...that's when our nightmares began.
The company 'Kitchen Emporium' located in Wigan, was recommended to me by a work colleague. My colleague said they were an inexpensive place to go to where we could get great quality for our money. We phoned and made an appointment for one of their sales people to come out and look at the job at hand and answer questions.
The night the sales man arrived, my wife knew this was not a company she wished to do business with. The sales man began by showing us a magazine of a kitchen that had been featured in its pages, installed and designed by them. My wife looked at me and actually said "I take it this will reflect in the price." We knew then that this man was building the company up in order to charge an astronomical figure for something we knew should not cost a lot. We had already had 6 quotes by this time so we had a pretty good idea about how much we would be paying. Of course all companies do different quality kitchens so we knew to take this in to account.
The man spent a good hour in our home. He really disliked the questions my wife asked e.g.: How thick are your carcasses, are your doors foil wrapped, painted etc, what guarantee do your doors come with, is their a gap at the back of each carcass to fit plumbing and wires or do they need to be cut through? The salesman actually said, "I feel like I am being interrogated here." When he said this I should have stayed well away as it was obvious that the reason he felt uncomfortable was because he probably had something to hide. My wife told him straight, that we only had X amount to spend and that this was all we were willing to pay. The man then stood up and said that this would not be possible and that we were expecting "high quality" for nothing. He picked up his laptop-which he didn't even bother to get out during the consultation to at least do a plan- and left.
Two days later my wife and I went to Magnet kitchens. We received a great quote and my wife really wanted to go with them however, upon leaving Magnet, I convinced my wife to go to Kitchen Emporium to look at their kitchens. My wife was not in the least happy but she obliged and we went in. There were plenty kitchens on show in their show room. We spent about a half hour looking when a man asked if he could be of assistance. That man- little did we know- was the owner. To make a long story short, he cut the price down however, my wife was still not happy with the price and he went away and reduced it yet again. The last price quoted was the best price and that was the carrot he dangled to get us to sit down for 5 hours and plan a kitchen that in the end ended up being £600 pounds more than originally quoted.
The owner -to date- has not been able to itemise anything. He said they do not work that way. How can we compare if we're getting a good deal if the items are not being itemised. The owner came up with this price off the top of his head. When making such a huge investment, it's important to see what things cost per item. It's like going to a supermarket and getting a receipt with a total and nothing else. Would anyone go for that?
In the end, we were told he would not be able to hold this deal for us unless we signed a contract. We realised we had forgotten to pick our son up from a party he had gone to and so we needed to make a decision fast. We were not told to read the terms and conditions listed at the back of the paper work we had to sign. We were not even told these existed. Prior to this we were told that each door and cabinet had a "10 year guarantee" (remember this fact as I'll explain further in a bit). We signed and paid a £1000 deposit and went on our way. Little did we know the amount of discrepancies that we were going to find listed on the back of the T&Cs.
The next day we looked at the contract and my wife realised there on the back was the wretched 'small print.'When we read it we were horrified. The doors and cabinets that had a so called "10 year guarantee" only turned out to have 1 year and 5 year guarantee. We also read we would not be able to get a refund on our deposit. So basically, we have landed with a potential lemon for a kitchen!
We are very unhappy at the moment. We are not disputing the quality of the kitchen, then again it has not come yet as it's still on order; we are just upset by the fact that we feel we have been taken on a ride to hell. When we have tried speaking to the owner about it, he says that the items not being itemised have nothing to do with anything.
I will be writing a review when we receive the kitchen. If you're considering going with them, please read the T&Cs on the back. Do not get suckered in to a sale like we did. Do your homework by shopping around. And if the deal sounds too good to be true, just turn around and walk away. I wish I had done that sooner!
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